Albertans could line up for more COVID-19 snaps in future – .

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Albertans could line up for more COVID-19 snaps in future – .


“What I will be looking for in the coming months are breakthrough infections that lead to serious illness and death. This is what we need to follow, ”said Dr Issac Bogoch

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How long does the immunity from COVID-19 vaccination last? It is not yet certain, because only time can tell.

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But there is a growing feeling that some people who are fully vaccinated will need a booster. The general population may one day need a third dose, or even an annual vaccination.

In the United States, top infectious disease specialist Dr Anthony Fauci recently said that a third injection may be needed for people with compromised immunity.

In Alberta, this is not yet planned, but it could happen.

“We are closely monitoring the research and data surrounding booster injections and await recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on this issue,” said Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan.

“We are particularly looking at the evidence for the need for a booster for people with weaker immune systems due to old age or existing health problems.

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“We are not offering callbacks at this time. Evidence suggests that the existing COVID-19 vaccine schedule offers excellent protection, including against the variants of concern.

“However, evidence continues to emerge and we look forward to NACI’s recommendation. “

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital, says: “There is very good emerging evidence that the immunocompromised population would benefit from a boost.

“It’s a very likely scenario, mainly because they just don’t have the same degree of immune response to two doses of the vaccine, whether it’s RNA or AstraZeneca. “

One question will be how to define eligibility, Bogoch said in an interview. This would obviously include transplant recipients, people on chemotherapy and those with certain blood cancers.

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“These people are easily classified as immunocompromised, but beyond that the line should be drawn somewhere. “

Another bigger issue is whether the general population should receive a third booster shot, perhaps in the fall.

“If you ask the question on July 27, 2021, the answer is no,” Bogoch says.

“But we have to be very open-minded in the coming months. It can be a possibility if we see a lot of breakthrough infections that cause serious illness.

“If you ask the people on the ground, you get a lot of different answers. Some would say that you get such a good immune response from these vaccines that even if your antibodies drop, the other branches of your immune system, mainly T cells, will take over and prevent serious illness.

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“Other people say, ‘not well enough, we’re going to have recurring infections, you’re going to need a booster.’

” To be honest, I do not know. What I will be looking for in the coming months are breakthrough infections that lead to serious illness and death. This is what we need to follow.

Dr Isaac Bogoch. Photo courtesy Isaac Bogoch

Another issue is whether the COVID-19 vaccination will evolve into annual campaigns, much like those for the flu.

“It’s not really clear whether or not we’ll need (the vaccination) once a year,” says Bogoch. “Maybe you get an encore and that will be the end of it. No one should talk about it with confidence because we don’t know it yet. “

Big vaccine companies, such as Pfizer, are now even working on vaccines that better treat variants.

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“I try to communicate uncertainty because there is uncertainty,” adds Bogoch.

“No one should look you in the eye and tell you straight away what exactly the next three, six, or twelve months will be like. “

When I spoke to Bogoch last November, he accurately predicted what would happen this year – a very bad start, followed by rapid improvement as the vaccination began to clear infections.

He is always optimistic.

“If you can turn a life-threatening infection into a sniffle, that’s a success. Then you no longer have a global health emergency, you have a massive nuisance. We can face a massive nuisance.

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

[email protected]

Twitter: @DonBraid

Facebook: Don Braid Politics

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